Read in the Digest:
- defies Treasury’s sanction, won’t freeze Tornado Cash addresses
- Foundation announces timeline for the mainnet merge upgrade
- (BTC) holds above $21.5k, Ethereum (ETH) & (SOL) gain 4%
- Graphics chip designer NVIDIA forecasts a decline in third-quarter sales
- Coinbase (NASDAQ:) launches wrapped staked ETH, Bitfinex plans chain split tokens
Tether Defies Treasury’s Sanction, Won’t Freeze Tornado Cash Addresses
Tether, the issuer of the USDT stablecoin, has refused to freeze addresses linked to Tornado Cash, defying the recent sanction placed by the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) on the crypto mixing platform.
Tether announced on Wednesday that it will not freeze the smart contract addresses linked to Tornado Cash. According to Tether, doing so could be a “highly disruptive” and “reckless” move.
The stablecoin issuer explained that freezing these addresses could alert suspects of an impending law enforcement investigation. In order to avoid jeopardizing further evidence gathering, Tether has refrained from freezing these addresses.
Unlike Circle, the issuer of the USDC stablecoin, Tether believes that if the assets are frozen without instructions from U.S. authorities, the move could jeopardize the work of other regulators and law enforcement agencies worldwide.
- The alleged creator of Tornado Cash, Alexey Pertsev, who was arrested in the Netherlands, has been denied bail and must spend the next 90 days in jail.
Why You Should Care
Tether, a Hong Kong-based company, does not conduct its business in the United States, although it voluntarily follows certain U.S. regulations as a part of compliance.
Ethereum Foundation Announces Timeline for the Mainnet Merge Upgrade
The Ethereum Foundation, a non-profit organization, disclosed the date of the long-awaited ETH 2.0 upgrade called ‘The Merge,’ which will transition Ethereum from a proof-of-work blockchain (PoW) to a proof-of-stake (PoS) blockchain.
According to the blog post, the update will occur in two phases because of the intricacies of the merge. The first step, called “Bellatrix,” will go live on the Beacon Chain on September 6. The Kiln testnet will be defunct on the same date.
The second phase is “Paris,” which is expected to occur between September 10 to September 20. The upgrade will move the mainnet to a PoS network at a Terminal Total Difficulty (TTD) of 58750000000000000000000.
After the TTD is hit, a Beacon Chain validator will produce the next block. Once the Beacon Chain finalizes this block, the merge transition will be considered complete. The Foundation confirmed that all public testnets had been successfully upgraded.
- As the merge approaches, the Ethereum team is expected to pay up to $1 million for the two bugs discovered in Ethereum clients’ mainnet merge updates.
Why You Should Care
Ethereum’s mainnet migration is the biggest event in history and has been in the works for years. It is predicted to affect the price of ETH and the entire crypto market.
Bitcoin (BTC) Holds Above $21.5k, Ethereum (ETH) & Solana (SOL) Gain 4%
After recovering from the plunge of late last week, Bitcoin (BTC) has been trading between the $20k and $22k range. Despite trading sideways, the world’s largest crypto, Bitcoin, has now steadied above $21.5k over the last 3 days.
The 24-hour price chart for Bitcoin (BTC). Source: CoinMarketCap
Bitcoin now trades at $21,660, with marginal gains of 0.7% over the last 24 hours, after peaking at an interday high of $21,790. With Bitcoin holding above this level, investors expect BTC to break above the $22k mark soon.
Ethereum has managed to break above its sideways trading after announcing the mainnet merge timeline. The price of ETH has jumped by 3.2% in the last 24 hours to trade as high as $1,712, its highest point in six days.
The 24-hour price chart for Ethereum (ETH). Source: CoinMarketCap
Similar to Ethereum, Solana (SOL) has broken out of its recent range, gaining 2.5% over the last 24 hours to trade as high as $36.42. The rally follows an announcement that Solana-based projects are teaming up to create a cross-chain messaging standard.
The 24-hour price chart for Solana (SOL). Source: CoinMarketCap
- According to Peter Schiff, Bitcoin is forming a bearish pattern that will send the crypto down to as low as $10,000.
Graphics Chip Designer NVIDIA Forecasts a Decline in Third-Quarter Sales
Graphics chip designer Nvidia (NASDAQ:) Corp, who warned earlier this month that its sales were dropping, reported a disappointing forecast for the current quarter on Wednesday. The report further knocked Nvidia’s shares down about 5%.
In the statement, the company said it expects a 17% drop from its estimated third-quarter revenue of $5.90 billion. That compares with the average analyst estimate of $6.9 billion.
In an earnings call, Nvidia Chief Exec Jensen Huang said that cloud service providers’ infrastructure investment slowed significantly in Q2. Nvidia also reported a decline in gaming devices, and a sudden decline in demand for chips has hurt the company.
Analysts said the company also took a hit from the collapse of the crypto market. In addition, Nvidia may see further sales declines as crypto-mining and data center end markets, which support chip sales, slow down.
- The company expects that growth in the data center and automotive business and strong growth in the United States will help boost its revenue
Why You Should Care
Nvidia told investors that it was expecting a revenue shortfall of $1.9 billion due to weaker gaming sales, the war in Ukraine, and COVID-19-related lockdowns in China.
Coinbase Launches Wrapped Staked ETH, Bitfinex Plans Chain Split Tokens
With the Ethereum merge in sight, leading crypto exchange Coinbase has announced the launch of cbETH, a new staked and wrapped Ethereum ERC-20 token. Coinbase says cbETH is a utility token that represents ETH2, which is ETH staked through Coinbase.
Users can stake cbETH on crypto exchanges to gain rewards. According to Coinbase, the cbETH tokens are expected to be available on its platform for trading on August 25 “if liquidity conditions are met.”
Also in anticipation of the merge, crypto exchange Bitfinex has announced Ethereum chain split tokens (CSTs) – ETHW (PoW) and ETHS (PoS). According to the exchange, the CSTs tokens are to prepare the exchange for eventualities during the merge.
If Ethereum fails to reach a consensus to migrate to PoS, then ETHS will expire, and ETH will be given in exchange for each ETHW holding. However, if a consensus is reached with no hard fork, ETHW will expire, and ETH will be given in exchange for each ETHS holding.
- While Bitfinex hopes to support the fork, Ethermine, Ethereum’s largest mining pool, has announced that it won’t support any PoW fork after the merge.
Why You Should Care
The merge is one of the most anticipated events in the crypto space, and crypto exchanges are doing all they can to enable a smooth transition as ETH changes chains.